Egypt will never allow Israel to expel Palestinians from Gaza: SIS head

Ahram Online , Thursday 7 Dec 2023

Israel has turned the entire Gaza Strip into a battlefield, leaving no safe place for citizens, while escalating its operations in the West Bank to displace Palestinians and liquidate the Palestinian cause, stated Diaa Rashwan, head of Egypt's State Information Service (SIS), on Thursday.

Diaa Rashwan
Diaa Rashwan (File photo: Al-Ahram)

 

Israel wants “to push the Palestinians to leave their lands towards what it described as safe areas in southern Gaza towards Rafah. These areas lack all the services necessary for life, such as water, food, and shelter, and are not protected from bombing,” he added.

This approach “is exactly what Egypt has been warning against,” viewing this as part of an Israeli plan to deport the Palestinians, empty the Gaza Strip, and liquidate the Palestinian Cause,” he added.

Egypt, Rashwan asserted, will never allow this to happen.

Israel is also escalating its aggression against the West Bank to force Palestinians to move towards Jordan, he noted.

The occupation force continues to defy the international community with its continuous bombing of the Gaza Strip, including Khan Younis, Rashwan said.

Rashwan expressed Egypt's regret for the collapse of the week-long humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip, which was mediated by Egypt, Qatar, and the US.

The death toll in Gaza has risen to 17,177.  Some 350 Palestinians were killed in the past 24 hours.

Over 46,000 Palestinians have been injured since the beginning of the Israeli war, according to the Palestinian health ministry on Thursday.

As Egypt works to effect a resumption of the truce, it is cooperating with partners to accelerate the transfer of humanitarian and relief aid to the Gaza Strip, Rashwan said.

He stressed that Egypt has permanently opened the Rafah border crossing for individuals and goods. Obstacles are created by Israel on the other side of the crossing, he added.

Egypt has thus far delivered 3,313 trucks of food and relief supplies, fuel, and household gas into the Strip.

It has also received 682 people who were injured by the Israeli offensives for treatment and evacuated 11,067 Egyptians and foreigners who were stranded in the Strip due to the war, Rashwan added.

Egypt’s position 
 

Egypt views the Palestinian cause as a national security matter. It supports the historical rights of the Palestinians to establish their independent state on their land based on the 4 June 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital, Rashwan said.

Egypt, he added, strongly condemns the policy of collective punishment pursued by Israel against the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, including the criminal practices of the occupation army, which has bombed, killed and wounded tens of thousands of civilians in the Strip, 70 percent of whom are children and women.

The country also rejects Israel’s deliberate targeting of infrastructure, hospitals, schools, and United Nations shelter places, as well as the killing of ambulance crews, journalists and UNRWA employees, he noted.

He asserted that attempts to push Gazans towards Sinai constitute a red line for Egypt, noting that this not only harms Egypt’s national security and sovereignty, but also will lead to the liquidation of the Palestinian cause. 

“No one can impose a fait accompli by force. Egypt has all the means to preserve its land and national security,” the SIS head added.

Rashwan urged the international community to abandon its double standards and take swift and decisive action to immediately stop the Israeli aggression on Gaza. He also called for applying international and humanitarian law to all crimes committed by the occupying army.

“In light of the rapid developments of the Israeli war on Gaza and the emergence of other areas of tension and conflict in the region, Egypt emphasizes that global security is closely linked to any developments in the Middle East region. Any conflict or military confrontation in the region will create global security challenges,” he noted.

Rashwan emphasized that Egypt is pursuing its diplomatic and humanitarian efforts to stop the Israeli aggression and resume negotiations meant to find a peaceful settlement that guarantees all the historical rights of the Palestinian people.

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